Critical Mass., Part 8: The Last Roundup

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Before this series: The Chain Letter Show
Part 1: Jennifer Riley, Damian Hoar de Galvan, Nancy Natale
Part 2: Cape Cod Museum of Art and Lorrie Fredette
Part 3: New England Collective

Part 4: Not About Paint at Steven Zevitas
Part 5: Strand at Boston Sculptors
Part 6: Swoon at Boston's ICA
Part 7: Eva Hesse at Boston's ICA

BOSTON--By the time you read this I'll be back in Manhattan to see a new season of shows. In Chelsea I'm particularly interested in seeing Jennifer Dalton at the Winkleman Gallery,  Melissa Meyer at Lennon Weinberg, Ann Pibal at Meulensteen, and a three-artist show, Douglas Melini, Gary Petersen, Sarah Walker, at McKenzie Fine Art. On the LES I'm looking forward to Loren Munk at Lesley Heller Workspace. In Williamsburg, Richard Timperio at Art 101. And in Dumbo, the opening of the new Minus Space. I hope to have posts from all those venues.
But for now, we're going to take one final look at Massachusetts. This post is the last roundup what I saw and liked. 

Man Ray: A l'heure de l'observatoire - les amoureux (Observatory Time - The Lovers), 1964, after canvas of c. 1931; Man Ray (1890-1976. Image from the PEM website

Man Ray/Lee Miller, Partners in Surrealism at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, through December 4

I knew about Emmanuel Radnitsky, aka Man Ray, the American-born artist who spent much of his time in Paris, but not about Lee Miller, former Vogue model who turned things around and became a war photographer and, not incidentally, a contributor to the fashion magazine she once posed for.  Man Ray/Lee Miller, Partners in Surrealism celebrates their creative collaboration, which commenced when they became lovers in Paris in the Thirties and ended, for the most part, when she left him several years later.

Lee Miller, Untitled photograph. He looked at her; she looked at the world. Image from the PEM website

No photography was allowed, so I'm keeping my comments brief. since I can't show you what I saw.  This  small, interesting exhibition presents the work they did with and for one another (though Miller was the less obsessed of the two) and includes work by their contemporaries, including Picasso, Dora Maar, Alexander Calder, Max Ernst and Le Corbusier. Calling the relationship, "an extraordinary exploration of the love, lust, and desire that drove the art of the Surrealists, and of a volatile love affair that helped to shape the course of modern art," as the press release does for the catalog, hypes the subject unnecessarily. But if you're in the area, go see it.
While you're at the museum, stop in to the Art and Nature Center (i.e. the kids' section) to see Ripple Effect, The Art of H20, up through April 30, 2010, which will please any adult as well. I took my almost-10-year-old niece and we both enjoyed it. 

Mags Harries, blown glass, app 24 inches diameter. Image from the PEM website

Then stroll down to actual water--the harbor, which is a five-minute walk away. Avoid the tourist-trap witch stuff on your travels--and unless you are a freak for horror themes and serious traffic congestion, avoid Salem the entire month of October.


In his third solo show at this gallery, Als Ick Kan, translated as "the best I can do," after a phrase found on several Van Eyk paintings, Sprecher shows mostly loose and appealing abstractions with a geometric bent. I am partial to the smaller works for their quirky composition and palette.

This viewer (I think it's Greg Cook, author of the blog, New England Journal of Aesthetic Research) is looking at two of the paintings I found most appealing. See below:

Above: Silent Hand, 2011, oil on linen, 20 x 16 inches

Below: Inside, 2011, oil on linen, 16 x 12 inches

 Installation on the back wall, which is also partially visible on the top photo in this grouping


24 Solo Shows  at Bromfield Gallery, Boston, through October 1

The members of this cooperative gallery describe their sprawling exhibition as "24 solo shows." Well, it's their gallery so they can call it what they want, but it looks like a group show to me. The work in the front gallery has a textile bent, and since I'm co-curating a big show that examines textile sensibility in contemporary painting and sculpture (that'll tantalize ya; more down the road), I found several pieces particularly appealing.

As an aside, let me add that Boston artists seem to do well with co-op galleries; there are three within spitting distance (Bromfield, Kingston, Boston Sculptors) in the South End, the work is good, and all  receive media coverage in a way that New York's cooperatives don't.

Ellen Wineberg,  detail from Idyll, mixed media and embroidery on canvas

Below: Wineberg's installation

Corner installation, viewed as you enter the gallery

Tim McDonald, White Noise/Titanium Slide, 2011, acrylic, canvas, flannel, and burlap, 31 x 16 inches. That skin of white acrylic functions as "cloth" while the fabrics function as "painting"

Kathleen Volp, I Think of You, 2011, oil and graphite on fabrics and wood, 18 x 18 inches


Abstraction: Two Views at the Hoadley Gallery, Lenox, exhibition over (but some work may still be available for viewing)

View of the gallery from the street

If you spend all of your time in New York City or any large metropolis, it's easy to forget that the white cube is not the only way to show art, and that fine art is not the only creative product available for exhibition and sale. I was pleasantly reminded of this when I stopped in at the Hoadley Gallery in Lenox, in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts. Thomas Hoadley, with his wife and partner, Stephanie Hoadley, run a gallery that shows paintings and fine crafts. The exhibition I saw was Abstraction: Two Views, which eatured Hoadley's work, as well as that of the Michigan-based painter, Graceann Warn.

Both artists work abstractly, geometrically, with rich surfaces--Warn with encaustic, Hoadley with marble dust mixed into his acrylic. It is the materiality of their surfaces, as much as their restrained compositions, that drew me in. (I'd juried a painting of Hoadley's into the New England Collective show in Boston, which is the first time I saw his work, and why I decided to detour into Lenox on my way to the Hudson Valley.)

Graceann Warn, Abacus, encaustic assemblage on panel, 30 x 60 x 2 inches

Paintings by Warn, foreground, and Hoadley, occupy the walls, while ceramic objects occupy the gallery space

Below: the painting visible on the far wall
Thomas Hoadley, Gray Area, marble dust and acrylic on linen, 17 x 12 inches

I had such a good (and relaxing) time in Massachusetts this summer that I'm going to do it again next year. I guess that means Critical Mass., Volume 2. Now it's back to Chelsea


Nancy Natale said...

What a great mix of work! Thanks for posting.

annell4 said...

Thank you so much. Enjoyed the post!

Stephanie Clayton said...

The depth in these works is I enjoyed this post- thanks.